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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A lucky veteran got a chance to ride in the Goodyear blimp at the Daytona International Speedway, but didn’t realize that one of the people manning the blimp was NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Paul Siverson is a Marine Corps veteran who has served in Vietnam, Somalia and Desert Storm. Siverson also volunteers with Charlotte-based NCServes, where he helps veterans and service members transition back to their civilian lives.
“I always wanted to be a Marine. I came for two and stayed for 30. That’s what I tell people,” Siverson said.
Siverson is also a diehard NASCAR and Earnhardt fan.
To celebrate Siverson’s life of service, Goodyear offered him and his wife a free trip to the Daytona 500 and a ride aboard the blimp.
Siverson got a huge surprise when he found out Earnhardt was waiting on board.
Earnhardt also gave a $10,000 donation to NCServes.